Red card, player off, game spoilt and points lost for Newcastle followed by an all-too late rescinding of the red – its what happened in the Sunderland-Newcastle derby last season giving the now officially tarnished Big Sam his first win as Sunderland boss, ultimately deciding the relegation race and something very similar happened to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle on Friday night although of course the Magpies in the wrong League are harder to stop.
Yet again though, Newcastle’s long-suffering, hard-paying supporters were ripped off at the hands of disgraceful officials on Friday night as The Magpies ended a bad week with an undeserved defeat at Notts Forest after the officials got every major decision wrong sending off two players, inexplicably awarding two wrong penalties while ignoring Newcastle’s own stonewall penalty appeal and denying a goal.
True, the red cards handed to JonJo Shelvey and Paul Dummett were immediately rescinded by an Independent Regulatory Commission on Tuesday yet the damage has already been done and have cost Rafa Benitez’s Magpies the games and a vital 3 points they would have picked up had it not been for referee Steve Martin.
The deplorable unsporting actions of Forest player Henri Lansbury did not help the officials yet there was a clear determination, almost a pre-determination, on their part to ensure that Newcastle went home empty-handed from the fixture which smacked of Newcastle’s treatment from officials last season.
The clear anti-Newcastle bias the entire match was an echo of last season’s Wear-Tyne derby when in Big (Rule-breaker?) Sam Allardyce’s first game, a dominant Newcastle were denied a clear penalty at one end before Sunderland were awarded one and Magpies Captain Fabricio Coloccini was sent off at the other.
The worrying pattern established for Newcastle is the fact Coloccini’s red card, although rescinded, handed The Black Cats the game, a crucial 3 points and momentum and in 3 of Big (Dodgy?) Sam’s first five wins, Sunderland played against 10 men with 2 of the 3 red cards rescinded and the 3rd should have been.
Meanwhile, Newcastle went over 100 matches without enjoying the advantage of playing against 10 men until Brighton at home this season, an inexplicable statistic that massively contributed to the club losing its Premier League status and extra £100M rightful share of the new TV deal money.
Presently, Newcastle are well-placed to return to The Premier League yet on Friday’s evidence, the notion held by Rafa Benitez that the only thing that can stop Newcastle’s promotion is themselves is not true – the only thing that can stop The Magpies is unjust officiating exactly like last season and decisions like this:
On Friday night, Dwight Gayle was denied an early penalty, two Newcastle men were wrongly sent off and two penalties given, the second after Newcastle took a lead with 10-men – almost as if the man in the middle’s plan to stop Newcastle the first time hadn’t worked and he was determined to ensure it did with another pen & red.
Conveniently for SKY Sports television, Newcastle being pegged back in The Championship title race means the TV broadcaster’s 10 in 10 Sky Bet EFL Marathon of ten Championship matches kicks of with Brighton vs Leeds tonight with the chance for Chris Hughton’s men to go top of the League.
This is a highly popular scenario in TV land as Rafa Benitez’s Black and Whites are the team everyone loves to hate in The Championship and the team to beat that the nation’s football supporters outside of Newcastle take great pleasure in seeing fall on their faces like Friday night.
When Newcastle play even in The Championship viewing figures are in excess of 0.5 M and up to 826,000 like against Leeds almost four times the Championship average of 250,000 and more than supposedly big Premier League games like the minor Middlesbrough – Sunderland Tees-Wear derby which attracted 0.5M fans.
Is the fact that Newcastle fans are so passionately loyal and support the team anywhere and everywhere win, lose or draw, wind, hail or shine a factor behind the club getting a raw deal off the referees? Or is it because a fully-functioning Newcastle are a massive threat to the established football order?
Horrendous officiating and inexplicably bad decisions have happened all too often against Newcastle for it to be an accident – it is a nothing less than an organised and calculated way of halting the progress and success of Newcastle United Football Club in order that it does not grow into the sporting giant it has the potential to become.
Last season, independents discovered that Newcastle were on the receiving end of the most bad decisions in The Premier League, a fact which after having statistically the hardest start to the season, led to its eventual downfall. Dispel the old notion that ‘Decisions even out over the course of the season’ – in reality they don’t as proven by www.refereeingdecision.co.uk who show that clear reffing bias is evident in The Premier League.
The League Table Never Lies, Nor Does Lance Armstrong
From statistically the hardest start to the 2015/6 Premier League season to decisions like this “rugby tackle” on Aleksandar Mitrovic by Jonny Evans at West Brom denying a clear penalty – a very rare sighting last season as Newcastle were awarded two all season – it was Newcastle against the world from the off.
From Trelford Mills in the 1980s and the two wrongly disallowed goals one by Kevin Keegan that meant an early Cup exit to the same Keegan – then as manager in the mid-1990s – being one of the many victims of FergieTime, the modern Newcastle have been ripped off by referees time and again.
New manager Rafa Benitez knows all about the unlevel playing field in English football – his infamous ‘Facts’ rant spelt out what he thought of the clear bias and corruption in English football while at the helm at Liverpool – a club for whom it was easier to win The Champions League than The Premier League.
Yet things are set to change and in a huge step for the officiating of the game, FIFA this week announced that it is trialing VAR technology – Video Assistant Referees at the World Club Cup in Japan which will mean the end of games like Friday and, ultimately, the levelling of the football playing field.
The 21st century is dominated by technology and so far has been an era of sporting corruption on and off the pitch coming to light even years after the event due to advances in journalistic research not to mention the FBI’s involvement in the scandals of the beautiful game, an ongoing investigative process and word on the grapevine is new revelations are soon set to shock the football world again.
As Newcastle once proved at St. James’ Park, on a level playing field, the SKY isn’t the limit at Newcastle United Football Club and The Rafalution will be televised and video-replayed, forever.
Juventus Fans Arrested After Clash with Police
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Ajax has already been marred by violence and controversy, before the teams even took to the pitch.
According to Ansa, citing a report from De Telegraaf, dozens of fans were reportedly arrested in Amsterdam in the hours leading up to the game.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (h/t Football Italia) took to Facebook live video to state that “around 120” fans had been arrested.
Per the report from De Telegraaf, fans near the Johan Cruyff Arena were “in possession of knives, clubs, pepper spray and flares.” Also, dozens of Ajax supporters were reported to have clashed with riot police in separate incidents outside the stadium and were eventually dispersed with the use of tear gas and water cannons.
The Mirror posted the following images on their Twitter page:
Man City forward Raheem Sterling Looking to Combat Racism on the Pitch
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, who spoke out last month after being subjected to taunts during England’s game in Montenegro, is looking to take his fight against racism to the pitch, saying he would rather stay on the field than let racism force him to walk off of the pitch during a match.
Sterling’s manager Pep Guardiola, stated that he would support players walking off in protest if it happened again, in a strong statement that racism is simply not acceptable.
“I think everyone are entitled to their own opinions. My mum has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am,” Sterling said, according to the Manchester Evening News.
“I wouldn’t personally agree with [walking off], to win the game would hurt them even more they’re only trying to get you down. If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.
“Everyone’s different. Everyone has their own opinion, how they deal with things emotionally and you have to support everyone.”
Sterling opened up about the racism he has faced in his life, discussing when he first expereinced racism when he moved from North London up to the north-west back in 2010.
“I don’t think trying to make a difference or making a difference, it’s about speaking what you experience. Some people might shy away from it, if more players speak up that might be better.
“It’s offensive but growing up my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this. When I hear it, it’s nothing new. I’m happy with it. I’m confident, I’m black and I’m proud. Some people can’t take it but my mum has always told me to love who I am.
“The first time I experienced racism is when I went up north to Liverpool – in London in schools and on a day-to-day basis you’re surrounded by a diverse community. Only a few occasions growing up in the academy in Liverpool, and then mainly in the last couple of years of being a professional.”
Birmingham City Fan Jailed for 14 Days for Punching Aston Villa Player
27-year old Paul Mitchel, a Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 days after he plead guilt to assaulting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Graelish during the derby on Sunday.
Mitchell rushed the pitch and took a swing at Graelish when the player’s back was turned at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s stadium during the Championship match on Sunday.
Mitchell admitted to invading the pitch and has been officially banned from attending any football match in the U.K. for up to 10 years, and was also ordered to pay £350 in total fines.
Graelish made a statement in which he described how he was “shocked and scared” by the attack.
“I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident,” he said (h/t ESPN). “It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon.”
“He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning,” Mitchell’s lawyer, Vaughn Whistance, said on Monday.
“His initial foolish intention was to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd. He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a 2-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”
“This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour,” said a spokesperson for the FA.
“On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.
“Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.
“This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.
“We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.
“In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place.”
Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Aston Villa and banned Mitchell for life.
“Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in Sunday afternoon’s derby match,” a club statement said.
“We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St. Andrew’s for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.
“The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.
“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this — there are no excuses.
“Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club.”
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